It’s not over for NFTs; artists must not give up

NFTs are not dead. Innovations in the way NFTs are used offer artists new growth opportunities. Now is the time for artists to embrace NFTs, let’s say Soula Parassidis And Christos A. Makridisfounders of Living work.

If you only look at the financial indicators, be it the price of Ethereum or the S&P 500, you might think that cryptocurrencies – or any asset class – are collapsing. But this is completely normal. The price of an asset changes based on its intrinsic value and expectations of future cash flows. Economic sentiment will therefore generate cyclical volatility. The most important long-term question is whether there is intrinsic value behind an asset. For NFTs, as a technology, the answer is yes.

Digital art is one of the most obvious use cases for NFTs. Research by Living Opera found that actual salaries of artists in the United States have fallen since 2009. What’s more, their salaries are even below the national average. This is despite their level of education, which is generally higher. If artistic activities continue this way, they will eventually collapse. So we need a solution.

NFTs offer artists another path to success. And, despite the market downturn, innovations in the use of NFTs are offering artists new growth opportunities.

NFTs aren’t dead, they’re here to democratize

You might not be surprised to learn that artists don’t make as much as data scientists. But the reality is much worse. There are far more musicians than jobs and artists have only lost their bargaining power over time. It also affects genres of music where people might assume artists are paid quite well, such as pop and hip-hop.

In fact, artists had to cede much of their intellectual property to record companies. Many find themselves having to put their creativity aside to support themselves. In fact, the Global Artist Wellbeing Survey, which Living Opera conducted earlier this year, found that 53% of artists had jobs outside of the arts to pay the bills.

For these musicians, NFTs offer another path to creative freedom. In fact, Web3 technology is there to simplify and streamline the creation of value. It gives people safe ways to interact directly with each other and monetize their talent.

That is why we are starting a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), called Living Arts DAO. We will create a decentralized grant ecosystem that will allow artists to submit funding proposals and collaborate directly with philanthropists who wish to support their efforts.

So far we don’t have many projects that combine elements of Web3 technology with the world of classical music. Yet artists in this category seem in a unique position to explore how they can leverage NFTs. Since classical music works are in the public domain, artists need not worry about licensing costs. Classical musicians and bands often have loyal fan communities. The latter are more likely to buy NFTs related to their favorite coins. Especially when they take an active role in supporting artists.

Despite the concerns, it’s not over for NFTs

Many artists and arts organizations have legitimate concerns about NFTs. But the bear market could lead to positive changes.

The bigger problem, of course, is that much of the NFT market activity has given them a bad reputation. The bear market appears to have exacerbated this problem: between May and August 2022 the average sales price of NFTs fell by 92%.

That said, the bear market doesn’t just have drawbacks. Indeed, our research revealed that market lulls have always been conducive to innovation and the development of generational projects. So we shouldn’t fear or fear the bear market, but rather look for more sustainable use cases for non-fungible tokens. That is, connect all categories of creators directly with their fans and make sure they fully own their works. We’ve already talked about how NFTs allow artists to keep licensing rights to their content. These help them become more financially independent and improve their bargaining power.

We’re starting to see more and more use cases emerge, even for convenience. Recently, Starbucks and Polygon launched a project called “Odyssey” which offers benefits to NFT holders.

Ryan Wyatt, CEO of Polygon, said: “Major brands are beginning to recognize the importance of how they interact with their communities virtually in more engaging ways. Through Polygon, users can own their digital assets and data, enabling a “unique digital innovation that we have never been able to achieve before. The partnership with Starbucks expands and advances what rewards programs can do to engage users in new ways.”

NFT artists own their works

In practical terms, non-fungible tokens provide a way for artists to own and authenticate their work without having to go through intermediaries or allow someone else to exploit it.

Although the bear market is ravaging the world of non-fungible tokens, innovation continues. New use cases for this technology emerge every day. That’s why it’s time for artists to explore the different ways they can use NFTs to connect with new people and expand their fan communities. NFTs allow people to create marketable assets. Therefore, artists can take advantage of it to improve the way people interact with their works.

No, it’s not over for NFTs. So, dear artists, it’s time to get started. We use this technology to innovate, create new experiences and build new bridges around the world.

About the Authors

Soula Parassidis is an international opera singer. She is also the CEO and principal founder of Living Opera, a speaker and a passionate anti-human trafficking activist. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from British Columbia University.

Christos A. Makridis is an entrepreneur, professor and political consultant. He regularly speaks at Columbia Business School and Stanford University, among others. He is also a co-founder of Living Opera, where he heads the technology and operations departments. Christos holds a PhD in Economics and Management Sciences and Engineering from Stanford University.


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